Re: The telecommuting myth

Subject: Re: The telecommuting myth
From: Sybille Sterk <sybille -at- BOFFIN -dot- BEYOND2000 -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 06:22:26 +0100

I've been working from home for the last two years and this was actually
suggested by my previous employer. Admittedly, I had been working for them
full-time until I had my son, so they knew me and the way I work. I still
go on-site whenever it is necessary, e.g. at the beginning of a new project
or when I need more info, but mostly I work from home and I find I get a
lot more work done and the quality of my work has improved.

I am currently working out the details for a contract with another company
which will also allow me to work from home. They only know me from the
interview and were looking for someone working full-time and as a permanent
employee for them, but I convinced them that part-time and working from
home are just as good (they weren't sure if they really needed a full-time

Sure, there are companies which will look at you suspiciously if you ask to
work from home, but with the last three jobs I had (first as a translator,
then technical author) there never seemed to be a very big problem.

Generally, I think some people are cut out to work from home, others need
the "social stimulation of the workplace" (or whatever else you want to
call it). I find you need quite a bit of self-discipline, but because I
like my work, I don't find it too hard (although my son doesn't always
agree with me).

In my opinion, views on telecommuting are certainly changing, e.g. if you
look on you'll find quite a few technical authoring jobs
which offer working from home, not all of them and probably not even half,
but up to a third.

Telecommuting has great advantages for the customer (if you work as a
contractor), although they can't actually observe you working they can
still see what you come up with, so if there's nothing they can easily get
rid off you. This in turn causes the contractor working from home to prove
he's doing a great job, which he will because otherwise he's out of the
job. The customer doesn't have to sort out your equipment, doesn't have to
pay the telephone or other bills for you, nor pay your national insurance
or tax (at least not yet ) etc.

Just my 2 p worth of "wisdom" ;-)

Sybille (dedicated home worker)

Sybille Sterk
Technical Author and Translator (German)
email: sybille -at- boffin -dot- beyond2000 -dot- co -dot- uk

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